Zambia soar as Germany go second
© AFP

The CAF Africa Cup of Nations has left its mark on the latest edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, with Zambia, who won their first continental title in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, climbing to 43rd. This is the first time since February 2001 that the side, coached by Herve Renard, have made it into the top 50.

Despite losing on penalties in the decider, Côte d’Ivoire (15th, up 3) remain Africa’s highest-positioned team. Aside from the two finalists, third-placed Mali (44th, up 25) as well as host nations Gabon (45th, up 46) and Equatorial Guinea (110th, up 41) have made considerable ground.

Changes are also to be seen in the top ten, with Germany (2nd, up 1) bumping the Netherlands out of second place to take up position behind Spain, and Portugal (6th, up 1) and Italy (8th, up 1) also making headway. Denmark have moved into the top ten (10th, up 1), pushing Argentina down to 11th.

All of these changes in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking are due to the devaluation of matches from previous years, as no top-ten team has played a match in the last month.

The balance of power between the confederations remains relatively unchanged: UEFA has 27 teams in the top 50 (down 1), CONMEBOL has nine, CAF six, CONCACAF four (up 1), the AFC four and the OFC zero.

The results of 51 international matches have been taken into account in compiling the current edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking, of which 32 took place as part of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations and 19 were friendlies.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be issued on 7 March 2012, one week earlier than originally planned.